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MoT emissions computer link shelved

MoT testing stations are being left out of pocket after having to pay for a connection test between a vehicle emissions analysis device and an MoT computer which has now been scrapped.

The link-up between the petrol exhaust gas analyser (EGA), which tests vehicle emissions and the computerised MoT network was planned to be an integral part of the system.

However, the link was not reliable, and it has now been decided by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and MoT computer service provider Siemens that the work required to implement this communication would not be cost effective, so it has been dropped.

Stephen Coles, from the Retail Motor Industry Federation’s MoT operations team, said: “It became apparent during the trials process that the transfer was unreliable. Implementation was suspended prior to further investigation.”

According to Coles, the link-up problems were spotted seven years ago: “VOSA was aware of the incompatibility problems in 2001. MoT stations were required to obtain a certificate of conformity, in addition to their normal calibration checks which take place every six months. However in many cases there was still a communication problem. At that time the RMIF pointed out that for most testing stations there would be a considerable financial outlay for the checks.”

Coles urged VOSA to refund any test station that paid for these checks, “which have now been definitively proved to have been unnecessary”.

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